Former Prague archbishop, Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, 84, is reported to have spent the last days of 2016 in hospital. According to the internet site lidovky.cz the cardinal was hospitalized over Christmas with heart problems. Cardinal Vlk later confirmed the news himself on his website saying that he was cancelling appointments in the first days of the New Year in order to get some rest and would cut back on his workload in the coming months.
The Czech Interior Ministry on Monday dispatched a contingent of 40 police officers to Macedonia to help the country patrol its border with Greece and prevent migrants making illegal crossings on their way to Western Europe. Police President Tomas Tuhy said they would be working in the vicinity of Gevgelia, patrolling the border and helping to register migrants. Over 200 Czech officers have already been on similar missions to the Macedonian-Greek border. Altogether 400 Czech officers have been sent on border patrol missions to Macedonia, Hungary, Slovenia, Serbia and Greece since 2015.
The Czech Foreign Ministry has confirmed that there are no Czechs among the 39 victims of the Istanbul terrorist attack. Another 70 people were injured in the attack on the Reina nightclub. A hunt is still on for the perpetrator and the Czech Foreign Ministry has advised all Czech nationals in the country to exercise extreme caution.
The Interior Ministry wants to push through a constitutional amendment which would set down conditions under which members of the public could use legally held-weapons against the perpetrators of terrorist attacks such as those in Nice or Berlin, the ctk news agency reported on Monday. The ministry argues that in certain situations such an amendment might prevent the loss of many lives. Despite strict security measures being in place it is not always possible for the police to guarantee a fast and effective intervention. According to the ministry’s data over 300,000 Czechs hold weapons legally.
An 11-year-old Czech girl who was critically injured in a hit and run in Oldham, near Manchester on New Year's Eve is reported to have died in hospital. Her 12-year-old cousin died at the scene of the crash on Saturday night. Police have arrested five men on suspicion of death by dangerous driving. They have asked witnesses to come forward. The two girls were reportedly holding hands as they crossed the road near their homes. The family moved to Great Britain eight years ago.
The man who threw eggs at President Miloš Zeman during November 17th celebrations at Albertov in 2014 is not guilty of a criminal offense, but merely committed a misdemeanor, the Prague 2 district court ruled on Monday. The case has dragged for some and originally two people were charged with rioting after throwing eggs at the head of state. Legal proceedings against one of two were dropped last summer for lack of evidence. The incident occurred on the 25th anniversary of the fall of communism when President Zeman was jeered by hundreds of demonstrators protesting against his alleged close ties to Russia and use of foul language in a live interview on Czech Radio.
Police say they have traced the man who made an anonymous bomb threat that stopped an express train bound for Munich on on Monday. According to a police spokeswoman the man is now being questioned. The train was stopped near the town of Beroun and all 254 passengers were evacuated. A two-hour search by explosives experts failed to detect any explosives on board. The train continued on its way shortly before midday .Other trains have also been slightly delayed due to the incident. The suspect of the hoax call could face up to five years in prison for scaremongering.
The chief conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and the ensemble’ s artistic director Jiří Bělohlávek has signed another six-year contract with the orchestra’s management. The world-renowned conductor has served in the post for four seasons. The head of the Czech Philharmonic, David Mareček, said Bělohlávek had raised the profile of the orchestra and won it greater international recognition and respect.
Scientists from Brno’s Masaryk University are engaged in a research project aimed at studying the effects of stress on the psyche of Holocaust victims. According to the internet site Novinky.cz which posted the story on Monday the team of psychologists, neurology experts and genetics experts are studying possible changes to the brain as a result of long-term exposure to extreme stress. The head of the research team Ivan Rektor said 30 survivors had agreed to cooperate and has asked others willing to do so to come forward.